Homebound travelers can, for the first time, remotely explore the Faroe Islands with an innovative new travel tool. The tool was created as an escape for those whose plans to visit the Faroe Islands have been temporarily put on hold due to current travel restrictions and for those looking ahead for future inspiration. With a population of just 50,000 across the Faroes’ 18 islands, the remote tour offers armchair travelers a chance to walk outdoors, discovering pristine landscapes, wild seascapes and the occasional Faroese sheep. Virtual travelers can also explore key landmarks and the capital city of Tórshavn.
The new site will allow virtual visitors to explore the Faroes’ rugged mountains and see its waterfalls and traditional grass-roofed houses close-up by interacting live with a local Faroese, who will act as their eyes, ears and body on a virtual exploratory tour of the destination.
The Faroese locals will be equipped with a live video camera, allowing virtual visitors not only to see the views from an on-the-spot perspective, but also control where and how they explore, by using their computer or phone keypad to turn, walk, run and even jump. Just like a real-life computer game, the main player will control the moves of the Faroese islander/s, who will not only explore locations on foot, but also take to the skies by helicopter giving the virtual visitors a bird’s eye perspective on the island nation’s steep grassy slopes, its 80,000 sheep and its pristine wild and natural countryside.
During the virtual tours, which will start on Wednesday, April 15 and run once or twice daily for about 10 days, the Visit Faroe Islands tourist board team will be online in real time on Instagram and Facebook Live to answer any questions that participants may have, providing both inspiration and expert knowledge about places to visit and things to see once the islands have reopened to visitors.
The launch of the virtual tourism idea is the latest in a series of initiatives by the Faroe Islands’ tourist board to share their remote homeland with the world, following the success of Google Sheep View (which saw sheep mapping the islands for Google Street View) and Faroe Islands Translate (which had local people translating, in real time, phrases requested from around the world into Faroese).
In addition, the Faroes’ Closed for Maintenance, Open for Voluntourism project, which saw the country close to tourists for few days for the first time last year, hosting 100 volunteers who took part in projects to protect the environment and key visitor spots, has been postponed this year due to COVID-19. New dates later in 2020 will be announced as soon as possible.
The Faroe Islands will remain closed to tourists until the end of April at the earliest. Fortunately, the tourist board says, the effect of the COVID-19 on the health of locals has been limited. The number of people recovering from the virus currently exceeds the number of people being infected.